Local artist creates unique tributes for Yarnell 19

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - While thousands of dollars have been donated to help the families who lost loved ones in the Yarnell Hill Fire; a local man hopes his unique tokens of tribute will help victims get through the hard times.

It looks like just a bunch of cut up license plates, but local artist Levi Koenen had an idea for a special tribute to the fallen firefighters.  He has spent hours working in his shop, creating these unique license plate collages for the Yarnell 19.

"I heard about the 19 that perished, and one of the slogans for the fire department is 'never forgotten'," stated Koenen.

Each sign he makes is made of individual numbers and letters, if Koenen doesn't like the way it looks he changes it.  These signs are getting extra special treatment, when they are finished each sign will be presented to the family of a fallen firefighter.

"These people go out and risk their lives to try and help us and protect us from the dangers of fire, and police officers and all those other things and being the person that I am I just felt I need to try and give back a little bit,"  said Koenen.

For him it's personal as well, one of his friends is a wildland firefighter assigned to Yarnell Hill.

"It's just cool that those people put themselves out there to do the things they do for us."

Koenen was up all night putting these unique signs together, he considers it a labor of love and respect for a hotshot crew of heroes.

"It gives them something to remember their loved ones by, something they can hang in their home and they can look at it and say hey this guy did a great job for me and my family.  It's just a cool thing to help them remember," said Koenen.

He will be heading north as soon as the signs are finished, to drop them off with the families.

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